Dutch Royal Wedding, 55 Years On

55 years ago yesterday, Princess Beatrix married German diplomat Claus van Amsberg. Royal weddings are usually celebratory occasions but in post-war Europe, the Dutch heir-to-the-throne’s choice of husband was not completely welcomed. As a child, Claus had been required to join the Hitler Youth and conscripted into the German army at the very end of WWII; while he was never involved in active combat, his past involvement with the Nazi party was problematic.

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Princess Beatrix and Claus van Amsberg announce their engagement, June 28, 1965

The couple stood firm and leveraged support from Beatrix’s German father Prince Bernhard to gain Queen Juliana’s endorsement. They further prevailed in gaining parliamentary approval for their marriage, a step needed for Princess Beatrix to remain in the line of succession, despite a petition with over 65,000 signatures against the marriage.

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The couple give notice of their upcoming marriage at Baarn Town Hall, February 17, 1966

These circumstances paved a less than ideal path to the altar and the couple’s wedding day on March 10, 1966 saw groups simultaneously cheering and protesting the union (a smoke bomb detonated during the carriage procession). Thankfully, these stresses are not evident in the Beatrix and Claus’ beaming faces. Their day started with traveling by the House of Orange’s gold carriage to a civil ceremony at Amsterdam Town Hall presided by mayor, Gijsbert van Hall.

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A religious ceremony immediately followed in the Westerkerk, led by the Reverend Johannes Hendrik Sillevis Smitt.

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Princess Beatrix wore her wedding gown for both ceremonies. Collaboratively created by the bride and Dutch royal family couturier Carolien Berge-Farwick of Maison Linette in white silk and duchess satin, the gown’s fitted bodice featured a high, rounded neckline and three quarter length sleeves. Sparkling beadwork at the waist highlighted the gown’s split skirt, which revealed a beautifully embroidered column underskirt and flowed to a sixteen foot train. While the dress’ streamlined shape was certainly of its time, the spectacular embroidery elevated it to one befitting a future queen.

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This regal royal bridal look was further elevated by the voluminous silk tulle veil and statement Wurttemberg Pearl Tiara. Impressive tiaras can easily overwhelm even a royal bride but the unadorned neckline of the gown, the extensive embroidery on the skirt, and the classic 60s bouffant veil balanced the tiara, beautifully.

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Princess Beatrix was attended by six adult bridesmaids, including her younger sister Princess Christina, who wore Wedgewood blue silk crepe gowns. Lace jackets with three quarter length sleeves, gloves, and matching bandeau headpieces with large feather poufs completed their ensemble. Two wee bridesmaids wore white silk dresses with white floral wreaths in their hair.

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Queen Juliana topped a stunning petrol blue velvet coat and blue lace column gown with a turban made of mottled blue and white silk petals.

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Princess Irene wore a headpiece of large deep pink silk flowers. Princess Margriet wore a white veiled pillbox, the fur hat linking with the collar and cuffs on her blush silk gown and coat.

 

Guests from numerous European royal houses were in attendance:

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Despite the controversy of this marriage, Prince Claus became an accepted and much loved member of the Dutch royal family and by all accounts, the couple enjoyed a happy marriage and family with their three sons. When Prince Claus died in 2002, he was deeply grieved by all.


Which hats stand out to you most at this wedding?

Images from Getty as indicated; Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images

Monday Multiples: Princess Beatrix

To mark Princess Beatrix’s 83rd birthday yesterday, we’re taking a closer look a lilac straw hat with wide kettle brim she has paired with three floral ensembles:

Look #1: With a purple, pink, turquoise and orange gerbera daisy printed tunic worn July 1, 2008 to christen Holland America’s Eurodam ship

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Look #2:  With a coffee orchid-printed silk chiffon ruffled jacket and a lilac trumpet skit worn January 8, 2012 in the UAE and June 30, 2016 in Slovakia

 

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Look #3:  With a lilac woven floral jacquard suit with ruffled lapel and sleeve worn for the weddings of Princess Carolina on June 18, 2012 and Prince Guillaume on October 20, 2012

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Which ensemble do you think pairs best with this hat ?

Images from Getty as indicated; Jakub Gavlak and Jakub Gavlak via European Pressphoto Agency

Princess Beatrix Opens Exhibition

Princess Beatrix made her first appearance since the summer yesterday, opening an exhibition on trees in Dutch paintings at the Dordrechts Museum

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For this event, she repeated an emerald straw hat with layered bumper brim, trimmed with side loops. The colour is another festive choice that’s simply lovely on her and the signature scale and shape of this piece is a welcome bit of millinery familiarity during this time when we are seeing so few royal hats.

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Designer: Suzanne Moulijn
Previously Worn: November 15, 2019

What do you think of Princess Beatrix’s hat yesterday?

 

Photos from Getty and social media as indicated 

Bourbon Parma Wedding Ten Years On: Family & Guests

Prince Carlos and Princess Annemarie of Bourbon-Parma celebrated their 10th anniversary last week. Yesterday we looked at the bride’s attire– today we look at hats worn by family and royal guests.

The groom’s mother, Princess Irene wore a statement pinwheel fascinator of purple feathers. Fascinators such as this one were still popular at the time (we’ll see several more at this wedding) and while this one was on-trend in terms of style and the colour was lovely, I think its scale overwhelmed Irene.

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Princess Margarita, who attended the bride and helped maneuver her 4 meter long train, topped and adorable red coat with a pleated bandeau headpiece trimmed with feathers on one side. The scale of the piece is lovely on her and just right for a head-to-toe ensemble in one colour- a bigger hat would have been too much. While bandeau headpieces are very popular today, this one was ahead of its time!

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Princess Carolina paired her stunning amethyst silk dress with a silvery grey straw fasciator studded with purple and grey feathers. As far as fascinators go, the crescent shape of this this one worked really well, not only to frame Carolina’s face but to give some presence to the piece. Both the shape and colour made the piece a great pairing for the dress, linking with the handpainted pattern on the skirt and complimenting, rather than competing with the cowl neckline. While fascinators such as these seem a bit dated now and the feather placement on this design isn’t perfect, ten years ago, I adored this look on Carolina.

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Queen Beatrix wore one of her signature oversize pillboxes, this one in the loveliest shade of slate blue. The hat paired beautifully with her both her blue jacquard silk dress and her fur-trimmed cape, the latter giving the most wonderful “ice queen” vibe, in the best possible way.

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Princess Máxima wore a simple black beret percher overlaid in pale grey and black net veil by Dutch milliner Irene Bussemaker. The veil is the star on this design, adding wonderful texture and softness to the otherwise stark piece. It’s not a showstopper hat for Máxima but, I suspect, that was the intent.

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Princess Laurentien topped another head-to-to red ensemble in a percher saucer hat trimmed in red guinea fowl feathers. While the numerous textures in this overall look might seem a bit much, they save it from being one note. I think the hat was a triumph, its scale so great on Laurentien (particularly with her characteristically sassy haircut) and the feathers a whimsical yet effective touch.

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Princess Mabel leaned into the fasciator trend with a large headpiece of black feathers. A decade of time since first seeing this outfit has not warmed me any more to it- while the fascinator linked with the coat and the top linked with the skirt and shoes, these two halves seemed at odds and the overall look just didn’t mesh.

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While Princess Margriet, Princess Annette and Princess Anita  did not wear hats, Princess Marilene topped her Valentino coat with a lilac crin bow fascinator studded with goose and coque feathers, net veiling and tulle. While the design was fine, I’ve always felt her lovely coat deserved a much more refined hat. Something wide brimmed in felt the same shade as the coat’s velvet bow would have been so much better.

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Princess Aimee wore a white fascinator of ruffled straw. I prefer the look of this fascinator, which almost reads as a cocktail hat, to the feather explosions seen on other heads here, but always felt it was too summery for a November wedding. Perhaps she had planned to wear it for the originally scheduled date in August? Either way, cocktail hats were popular ten years ago and I think something in navy felt would have made a better pairing.

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The final Dutch royal hat at this wedding was worn by Princess Christina. Her tangerine straw callot was studded with black and orange feathers. The hat’s link to the black, yellow, caramel and coral floral print on Christina’s coat is obvious yet still incongruous…  and too Halloween-y. I think a solid colour hat would have been the way to go here.

The only hat on a royal guest was this wonderful purple felt cloche worn by Countess Diane of Nassau, wife of Prince Jean of Luxembourg. The design appears to be trimmed with a pair of slim, layered hatbands and a ruffled side bow at the side with feathers. It’s a classic piece that was elevated by its unexpected, yet very effective pairing with Diane’s fuchsia frock.

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Looking back at past events is always an interesting glimpse at style trends at that time and this flashback is no exception. Which millinery looks have best stood the test of time? Which do you think are best left in the past?

Photos from Getty as indicated; PPE/Nieboer; PPE/Nieboer; PPE/Nieboer; Olivier Polet/Corbis, and Olivier Polet/Corbis, via Getty; Patrick van Katwijk/Monarchy Press; Patrick van Katwijk/Monarchy Press; PPE/Nieboer; Corbis; PPE/Nieboer; Corbis; PPE/Nieboer; Mark Renders/Getty Images; Jeroen Van Der Mejde/ANP Photo News

This Week’s Extras

Princess Beatrix in a black straw hat with embellished bumper brim last Wednesday at the funeral of Infanta Pillar
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On January 31st, Princess Nobuko and Princess Hisako visited the 69th Kanto Tokai Flower Exhibition at Sunshine City Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo. Princess Nobuko wore a black brimmed hat while Princess Hisako donned a gey felt Pork pie-crowned design with rolled brim and burgundy hatband
Chic grey felt boater hat on Princess Hisako today to open the 2020 Tokyo Tableware Festival
Queen Elizabeth in a familiar blue felt hat with feather flowers by Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren, to attend St. Peter and St. Paul church this morning in West Newton near Sandringham
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The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Lilac lace covered button percher with silk flowers by Irish milliner Teresa Nugent
Black straw saucer with lovely swirling blush floral trim from British milliner Justine Bradley-Hill
Burgundy felt folded design with button trim by German millinery Angelika Löbering
Pink straw wide-brimmed hat with statement polka dot bow by Florida-based AmyJo Original Hats
Black featherpercher with quill twist and red feather hearts by Australian milliner Jill Humphries
Beret percher wrapped in ombre orange organdie ribbon with bows by British milliner Dillon Wallwork
And this wonderfully elegant grey straw design with rolling wave cuffed brim, veil, feather quill twist and diamante bumble bees from British milliner Rachel Henry

Lovely new portrait released by the Dutch court to celebrate Princess Beatrix’s 82nd birthday
Sweet snap from the Monaco Royal Palace balcony during the Sainte Devote Ceremony last Monday
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Photos from social media as indicated